Problematic tags: I think and are being applied in inconsistent, maybe incorrect ways. I'm having trouble thinking of descriptive text that will include the already-tagged questions. Any advice?

The same is likely true of other tags that don't yet have any textual description. So general advice is especially welcome.

  • $\begingroup$ I updated text on abstraction so that one is solved if people agree. I also removed the tag from the three posts that used it since they were nothing about abstraction, which wasn't mentioned anywhere except the tag. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jul 15 '17 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ In the future, it'd be better to wait more than 1 hour for consensus to appear, and for more people than just the chat users to give their opinions. $\endgroup$
    – thesecretmaster Mod
    Jul 15 '17 at 19:18

I'm really unsure what is supposed to mean, and it seems a vague (abstract, maybe - heh, puns) sort of tag that will probably get over used inconsistently. So I'd be for annihilation of that tag. For that, I'd remove it from all questions, since it's only applied to three, and the SE roomba will take care of it.

As for , that seems more useful on first sight, but I'm not sure how to phrase what it means. A quick check shows no questions are tagged with that, so again, the SE roomba will take care of it. This one I'm more unsure on - maybe there's a nice way to phrase it that I haven't thought of.

  • $\begingroup$ Actually abstraction is a fundamental CS concept in many ways. Data-Abstraction, for example. Also fundamental to OOP thinking. So, no scrubbing, please. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jul 15 '17 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Some of my students used to complain "Professor <buffy>... is so abstract". I'd say "thank you" and explain. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jul 15 '17 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy well the way it's currently applied doesn't really represent that... $\endgroup$ Jul 15 '17 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, That is my problem with it. If I add appropriate text, I'll have to retag and one is then left with no tags, I think. So ...? $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Jul 15 '17 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy in that case, I'd suggest retagging. I'm sure that one question has another appropriate tag. $\endgroup$ Jul 15 '17 at 17:31

Before simply removing tags, it's best to let the discussion take its course first. We are probably working from different definitions of abstraction, hence the need for meta discussion and tag editing before removing tags.

I use the following from the AP CS Principles Course Description:

Big Idea 2: Abstraction

Abstraction reduces information and detail to facilitate focus on relevant topics. Everyone uses abstraction on a daily basis to effectively manage complexity.

Both of the questions I asked with are appropriate for that tag given the standards defined by the College Board. Array indexing is an abstraction for pointer arithmetic; therefore, my two questions that focused on the topics of arrays, indexing, and pointers are appropriate for . Indeed, the central question in one of them was about whether or not to teach said abstraction.

Given the widespread presence of this course and the number of teachers thereof, I think AP CSP's definition of abstraction is at least one key part of how we define the abstraction tag here.

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    $\begingroup$ Might it be better to use a more specific tag to refer to the type of abstraction you're referring to? Since abstractions are so commonly used, I'm wondering whether the tag will actually have questions with much in common—my initial suspicions are that questions using this tag won't really be that related, as there are so many different abstractions covering all branches of CS. Something to consider, at least: will the tag group questions in a useful way? $\endgroup$
    – Aurora0001
    Jul 15 '17 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Aurora0001 That's a good point to consider. As I was writing this, I started to get the sense that it might be too broad to be useful. Even though I think the tag applies, the tag itself might not be worth having, which is a different conversation altogether. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Jul 15 '17 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ It does appear to be a meta tag. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I. Mod
    Jul 15 '17 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ A conversation about a conversation about a tag about other tags. Can't we just have a few ill-defined bucket tags and not have to iron out every wrinkle in the rug? I definitely agree with using some generally-accepted statement of what the word is used for (as opposed to what it means - don't even go there). $\endgroup$
    – user737
    Jul 17 '17 at 15:54

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